Tag Archives: radiation

Novel Strategy May Improve Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

Canadian scientists say suppressing certain kinds of immune system cells could improve the effectiveness of immuno-radiotherapy for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a fast-growing membrane cancer caused by asbestos. Doctors have not found a single therapy that can beat it. For most patients, a combination of treatments offer the best survival odds. Immuno-radiotherapy for mesothelioma combines two types of treatments. Immunotherapy drugs activate the immune system while radiation attacks the tumor directly.  Mesothelioma tumors fight back against both kinds of treatments. But researchers testing a combination of the two may have found a way to make it even more powerful. How Immuno-Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Works Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most treatment-resistant cancers. Doctors have to attack it from many different … Continue reading Novel Strategy May Improve Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: New Consensus Statement

proton therapy for mesothelioma

A group of international experts in radiation oncology say proton therapy for mesothelioma may be a safer alternative to standard radiotherapy.  Proton therapy uses protons instead of photons to destroy mesothelioma tumor cells.  The group evaluated both types of radiation therapy. They conclude that proton therapy for mesothelioma is less likely to damage the opposite lung and other organs.  What is Proton Therapy? Conventional radiation therapy for mesothelioma uses photons. A radiation oncologist delivers photons into the tumor with a linear accelerator. The photons or X-rays permanently damage the DNA. Damaged mesothelioma cells cannot grow and divide normally and the cells die.  The downside of standard radiation therapy is that normal tissue absorbs some of the damaging photons, too. This … Continue reading Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: New Consensus Statement »

Radiotherapy Before Mesothelioma Surgery May Not Be Worth the Risk

Radiotherapy before mesothelioma surgery

Cancer doctors at Mayo Clinic say they do not plan to start routinely performing radiotherapy before mesothelioma surgery. The idea is based on a radiation protocol called SMART. The team monitored how well the SMART protocol worked among their pleural mesothelioma patients over a one year period.  The Mayo doctors acknowledged that radiotherapy before mesothelioma surgery can sometimes improve outcomes. But too many of their patients developed serious complications. In a recently-published article, the team concludes that SMART may not be worth the risk for most patients.  The SMART Way to Treat Mesothelioma? Pleural mesothelioma grows on the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Mesothelioma tumors lie close to the lungs and heart and may spread to one or both lungs. … Continue reading Radiotherapy Before Mesothelioma Surgery May Not Be Worth the Risk »

Targeted Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma May Extend Survival in the Right Patients

targeted radiotherapy for mesothelioma

A meta-analysis conducted by some of the country’s top cancer researchers says targeted radiotherapy for mesothelioma can help some people live longer. It is the first such analysis of targeted radiation after lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery. The team focused on intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). IMRT is more precise than earlier forms of radiation treatment.  The new article appears in Practical Radiation Oncology. It is a meta-analysis of ten smaller studies. The researchers conclude that healthier surgery patients could safely consider targeted radiotherapy for mesothelioma. Making Radiotherapy Less Toxic In the past, radiation for mesothelioma has sometimes done more harm than good. Earlier types of radiation treatment were not as precise as IMRT. When radiation spills over into healthy tissue, it … Continue reading Targeted Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma May Extend Survival in the Right Patients »

Drug May Make Mesothelioma Cells More Sensitive to Radiation

sensitive to radiation

Scottish cancer researchers say they have found a way to make mesothelioma cells more sensitive to radiation.  Radiotherapy is one of the tools doctors can use to help slow progression of the asbestos cancer. It can also help alleviate mesothelioma symptoms.  But proteins expressed by mesothelioma cells can make them less sensitive to radiation. The Glasgow-based research team is getting around this protection with a sensitizing drug. The drug mimics a process that already happens in healthy people. Radiotherapy in the Treatment of Mesothelioma Radiotherapy is not usually the primary treatment for malignant mesothelioma. Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy as their first-line treatment.  But newer technology means that radiation can be more targeted than it used to be. This means … Continue reading Drug May Make Mesothelioma Cells More Sensitive to Radiation »

IMRT for Mesothelioma: Barriers to Completing Treatment

PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab

MD Anderson researchers say too many patients who might benefit from IMRT for mesothelioma never complete the treatment. The problem could be impacting their survival. Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) is a type of targeted radiation. It is designed to direct as much radiation as possible into the mesothelioma tumor without harming the surrounding tissue.  Patients who have a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and IMRT for mesothelioma have the best odds of survival. But at MD Anderson Cancer Center, only two thirds of eligible patients completed IMRT after mesothelioma surgery. The new study aimed to find out why. Trimodal Therapy and Mesothelioma Survival Malignant mesothelioma rarely responds to a single cancer therapy. Trimodal therapy combines several different treatments to maximize success.  … Continue reading IMRT for Mesothelioma: Barriers to Completing Treatment »

Radiation Exposure Alone Unlikely to Cause Mesothelioma

radiation exposure in shipyards

A new study finds that low-dose occupational radiation exposure is unlikely to cause mesothelioma by itself. Instead, the study confirms what scientists have suspected for at least 60 years: The primary cause of mesothelioma is almost always asbestos.  The goal of the study was to see if radiation exposure by itself raises the risk for mesothelioma. Researchers analyzed three groups of people exposed to radiation on the job.   After reviewing more than 50 years worth of records, the team found that some workers were more likely than others to get malignant mesothelioma. But these were not the workers with the most radiation exposure. Radiation, Asbestos, and Mesothelioma A team of epidemiologists, cancer specialists, and radiation experts ran the new study. … Continue reading Radiation Exposure Alone Unlikely to Cause Mesothelioma »

Adjuvant Radiotherapy Most Effective for Pleural Mesothelioma in Early Stages

adjuvant radiotherapy for esothelioma

New research shows adjuvant radiotherapy is most likely to help pleural mesothelioma patients in the early stages of the disease. By the time mesothelioma is at Stage III or Stage IV, adjuvant radiotherapy is unlikely to improve survival. Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas conducted the study on more than 2,500 pleural mesothelioma patients. Their results appear in the most recent issue of the Journal of Thoracic Disease. The study could help mesothelioma patients and doctors make more informed choices about their care. Defining the Stages of Pleural Mesothelioma The four stages of mesothelioma relate to the severity of the cancer and how far it has spread. In Stage I mesothelioma, the tumor is confined to the pleural … Continue reading Adjuvant Radiotherapy Most Effective for Pleural Mesothelioma in Early Stages »

Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Doubles Survival in New Study

Radiotherapy for mesothelioma

Italian researchers presenting at an international conference this week say the right kind of radiotherapy for mesothelioma can dramatically boost survival. Radiation oncologist Marco Trovo and his colleagues at the University Hospital of Udine conducted the new mesothelioma research. They studied 108 pleural mesothelioma patients whose tumors could not be completely removed with surgery. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane around the lungs and is usually fatal within a year. But in the new study, more than half of the patients who had high doses of targeted radiotherapy in just the right area were still alive two years later. In contrast, just over a quarter of the patients who had palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma lived to two years. Curative Versus Palliative … Continue reading Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Doubles Survival in New Study »

Prophylactic Radiation Will Not Prevent Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis

mesothelioma metastasis prevention

A UK study says prophylactic radiation of the chest wall is unlikely to prevent pleural mesothelioma metastasis.   Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. Tumors start on the lining around the lungs and can spread to the lungs and other organs. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of asbestos cancer. Doctors sometimes use procedures that pierce the chest wall to help diagnose mesothelioma or to deal with mesothelioma side effects. Sometimes, new mesothelioma tumors can form along the instrument tracts or in the spot where the chest wall was pierced. When tumors spread it is known as mesothelioma metastasis. Some evidence suggests that radiating the chest wall after a procedure might prevent mesothelioma metastasis in that … Continue reading Prophylactic Radiation Will Not Prevent Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis »